Is there evidence of Gods judgment of His household or of His people as a whole? Peter seems to imply that there is. Listen:
1 Peter 4:14-18 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?
In this next passage Jesus is speaking through John to the churches. Revelation 2:4-5 But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
Here the lampstand represents this church body see Revelation 1:7.
Revelation 2:14-16 But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality. So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.
Again this Judgment seems to be for the church body who does these things without repentance.
So if these churches represent even a portion of the church, then judgment can come to the household of God as Peter states it.
Ezra 7:26 Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of goods or for imprisonment.”
This is singular judgment for ones acts against God. In Israel the king was God’s appointed and anointed overseer.
Isaiah 3:14 The Lord enters into judgment with the elders and princes of His people,“ It is you who have devoured the vineyard; The plunder of the poor is in your houses.
This judgment is seen for The leaders of His people.
1 Chronicles 16:14 He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth.
The point here is that His judgments are ever present for all including us His people.
2 Chronicles 24:24 Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the Lord delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.
Gods Judgment here allowed the enemy with much less resource to bring defeat on God’s own people because they had forsaken the Lord. When we ignore His plain word to us, because of His great love He disciplines us and sometimes in harsh ways that we may be awakened from our slumber.
Jeremiah 2:35-36 Yet you said, ‘I am innocent; Surely His anger is turned away from me. ’Behold, I will enter into judgment with you Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ “Why do you go around so much Changing your way? Also, you will be put to shame by Egypt As you were put to shame by Assyria.
Again God exercises Judgement on His people.
Jeremiah 5:18-19 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not make you a complete destruction. It shall come about when they say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.’
Gods Judgment turned to His people due to their creating their own image of God, making Him foreign. They knew that He alone was God, but just as Paul warms us to not follow another form of Jesus; So the Israelites were also warned and judged.
And of course the passage in Peter. It is time for Judgment to begin with the household of God — but why?.
Today, we have men in the name of Jesus and His church claiming that God is no longer concerned about sin. They say that men and women are made the way they are as homosexual or transvestite. They claim that their environment determines and is responsible for their involvement with drugs and gangs etc. etc. they ridicule and disown anyone who escapes the lifestyle which God has called sinful, and more especially they ridicule if God or Jesus is given as the reason for their escape. But these are not the people of God, They are His enemy. What should concern us is today’s twisting of the word, and neglect of it by the people of God. Yet:
2 Kings 10:10 Know then that there shall fall to the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the Lord spoke concerning the house of Ahab, for the Lord has done what He spoke through His servant Elijah.”
God sends His prophet to speak His word and nothing of God’s word spoken through him will fall to the earth. This verse represents a judgment from God on a ruler of Israel. Peter spoke of the need for a coming judgment to begin with the house of the Lord, and it will not fail. He was speaking of us in the latter days.
Men today having itching ears do heap upon themselves teachers who would tell them what they want to hear. Men make great fortunes today off of selling their version of the word of God. Think about that. Jesus the very word of God twisted into another Jesus because they will not accept The Word.
It is often twisted to suite the itching ear of the reader. It is not right for us as believers to judge motives in another brother, but actions or fruit is to be judged in a brother or sister. If we are not going to our brethren when we see fruit that does not belong within the body, and if warnings are not being heard; then God will Himself judge the body.
As believers we are told that it is not our place to judge the world. God will handle that. But the scriptures tell us that we are to judge ourselves, and warn those who call themselves brothers, but stray from the truth. But we are only to judge the fruit to see that it meets the standard and truth of the Scripture.
Yet today we judge the world based on the Scripture and give the brethren a pass. The Scriptures tell us how we are to judge. In the next passage within the Corinthian church a man is openly sleeping with his father’s wife.
1 Corinthians 5:3-5 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
So what is the basis for this judgment?
1 Corinthians 5:9-13 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.
Paul sees evil fruit in one inside the body of believers and he says remove him. But there is a purpose for this judgment.
1 Corinthians 11:31-32 But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.
So we are to judge one another’s fruit, including our own, and we are to expect to be judged for our fruit, and there is His purpose that we not be condemned with the world. This seems clear, so then let’s look at when we are not to judge one another. Keep in mind Paul is speaking of food here. This is not a contradiction in his instruction.
(Romans 14:13-21, 23) Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, (Paul here is speaking of food; not sinful acts) to him it is unclean. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (All of this relates to what we are eating and drinking) For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the man who eats and gives offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin. (Romans 14:13-21, 23 NASB)
So, if you think it is wrong to drink wine you cannot in good faith do that, and if you do what you think is not right it then becomes sin to you. But you are not to condemn the other brother who drinks wine, but he acting out of love should not drink in your presence knowing that you are not free in your conscience to drink. This then becomes a private issue between you and God. But the implication is that you and I can be judged by God for knowingly eating some food or drinking some drink that offends our brother when in his presence. Or for eating what we think is evil.
So why do some believers think that drinking is a scripturally taught sin, but that teaching what is not scriptural in the way of doctrine is just fine. If they mistakenly apply a drink of wine with the sin of drunkenness, why do they not associate their wrong doctrine with twisting of the scripture and disobedience, even to the point of creating for themselves another Jesus from a twisted word. Often drinking does lead to sin. The real sin in this case is lack of self control, and disobedience before God. But always it is wrong to teach in contradiction of scriptures Truth.
So when we see drunkenness in a brother it is a fruit that does not belong in the body, and then we are to judge it, and if we are the one drunk we should expect to be judged according to Scripture.
The misunderstanding of Judgment and how it is exercised by God and by believers can lead to our being judged by others and by God. When Judging, love is to be the motivation, it is God’s motivation when He judges us or allows us to be judged, because His motivation is for our good our repentance. Our motivation when we render judgment on a brother because he is producing fruit not belonging to the body of Christ is also to be love. We want that brother to be in a right relationship with the Lord.
So my question to you is this– is our teaching, no matter if truth or falsehood, not a fruit to be examined and if necessary judged? Truth is good fruit. Falsehood is bad fruit.
James 5:19-20 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
The truth here is the fruit that is being inspected. Is it your truth? My truth? Or God’s truth that matters in this most important question? If it cannot be pointed out clearly in scripture it is false.
All Scripture has been written for our understanding and application to life. Our correction, our training, etc.
1 Corinthians 10:1-5, 7-12 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and all ate the same spiritual food; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of what was done to bring about God’s judgment on the nation. One of the greatest sins of their priests was false teaching and spiritual blindness that resulted. God is merciful and gracious and long suffering to us, but He will Judge the body. This is Peters message to us. Tribulation will bring a purging of the bride. Jesus will return for a bride completely sold out to Him. One without spot or wrinkle.
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (KJV)
Men try to tell us that this verse is misplaced, or that it is a reminder of what they call an imminent rapture, or they otherwise attribute it to just Israel, but this verse gains its entire meaning from its placement. Most of the church today denies individual responsibility in this preparation. Is this not why Judgment will come first from God in order to motivate us toward this preparation? Will God unleash Satan upon His bride to purify it even as Paul did with the man living in sin in Corinth?
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God will definitely judge His people if they persist in sinning after they know the truth. That is the reason why Peter warned us in your first passage that if we suffer let it be as a Christian due to perscution and not because of the judgment of God due to sin. Your post is thorough and concise. Keep up the good work.
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Appreciate that coming from you whom I respect much.
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